Should I Quarantine My Child After Visits With My Ex?
Like many other aspects of life, maintaining a child custody arrangement during COVID-19 can be challenging. Between travel restrictions, contact tracing measures and mandatory quarantines, you may be worried about your safety and your child’s safety while upholding the custody court order.
With the second wave of COVID-19, some parents are considering the merits of quarantining their children after visits with a co-parent.
Since COVID-19 is different everywhere and each family has a different custody schedule, the decision to quarantine your child will depend on a variety of factors. Ultimately, this is a critical conversation to have with your ex and you should go through a variety of steps to determine the appropriate course of action.
Read Your Child Custody Agreement
Before starting a new debate over what to do, check your existing agreement. This will help you understand what is within your power as a custodial parent and to what extent your ex has a say in the child’s decisions. Moreover, you can see if there are any clauses that may cover a quarantine situation like COVID-19.
As always, speak with your child custody attorney to decipher the legal language and what is mandated by the court. Since the court order is the guiding contract, it is important to follow that until an agreement stating otherwise is made in writing. This can help ensure your actions do not break the agreement and keep you out of legal trouble.
Discuss the Situation With Your Ex
Even if the decision to quarantine your child falls within your power as a co-parent, you should still consult your ex. Co-parenting can be difficult. Take some time to see if you can find any solutions to propose instead of going to court.
If you two cannot reach an agreement, consider family mediation. In a mediation session, the two parents meet with a third party arbitrator in an effort to find the best solution for the child.
This process can help incorporate ever-changing public health information into a revamped amendment to your custody agreement. Likewise, coming to a solution in mediation can help make these orders explicit and ensure that you and your ex are on the same page for quarantine and Covid-19 protocol.
Like any other decision, keep in contact with your child custody attorney and see what options may arise with and without mediation. In the end, COVID-19 is a difficult time to maintain a regular court order and constant communication between all parties is critical. Speak to a child custody attorney to learn more about your options.